On this page we list the small problems and incompatibilities that can occur in the Apple universe. We decided to do this because we often get requests which we research and which sometimes have a quite complex background or are not communicated by Apple.
This list is just to help you. Often you look for a bug for a long time – and sometimes it just can’t be solved. For the circumstances known to us, we have listed the explanations here, so that it saves you nerves and life time.
Check quickly what fits together.
We also mention the intended incompatibilities within Apple’s ecosystem that have occurred in our everyday lives. Some of them caught us by surprise – so that you are better prepared, we share these experiences with you. If you have similar tips, please let us know and we will share them with others. As you can see, there aren’t many – Apple’s software support for their own devices is long and extensive. Only from time to time there are a few problems.
Apple Watch – no pairing with iOS 12 iPhone possible
This circumstance has been introduced by Apple with intention and as we find a rather unsympathetic way to introduce planned obsolescence: If you run an Apple Watch on an iOS 12 iPhone, never unpair both devices! Apple has recently banned this, so you are forced to buy a new iPhone.
Caution! Apple forbids the pairing of Apple Watches with iOS 12 iPhones.
The idea of giving your old Apple Watch 3 to someone with an iPhone 6 or 5s as a gift is made impossible: the devices can no longer be paired. However, as long as the devices were paired before this ban, the ensemble remains fully functional, both devices even get software updates.
Apple Watch – no 5 GHz WLAN
The Apple Watch does not offer a 5 GHz WLAN even in the 5er version. You should take this into account when planning your WLAN if you really want to replace your iPhone and, for example, want to accept phone calls via the Apple Watch. You might want to avoid the overcrowded 2.4 GHz network, especially in cities, and set it to 5 GHz – but then the Apple Watch can’t connect.
The Apple Watch can only connect 2.4 GHz Wifi.
The usual workaround is that your iPhone is in the 5 GHz and the Apple Watch is then connected to the iPhone via Bluetooth – just as it is meant to be on the go (if you don’t have the LTE version). This assumes, however, that you are never further away from the iPhone than the Bluetooth range allows. If you have a bigger house and would like to leave the iPhone lying around, a 2.4 GHz network is absolutely necessary for the Apple Watch to operate alone.
Macs with macOS High Sierra cannot access iCloud documents anymore
This issue caught us in the middle of our work: After there was a new version of Pages, Keynote and Numbers for iOS 13, we couldn’t access documents shared in the iCloud from our oldest Mac with macOS 10.13 High Sierra, which is still officially supported. Even the Apple support needed a week to answer us.
iOS 13 makes iCloud documents incompatible for Macs with High Sierra.
Result: with the update of the mentioned programs under iOS 13 the data becomes incompatible for Macs with macOS 10.13 High Sierra. Workaround: Access via the iCloud website, which is a bit annoying. Since we had run into the open knife here is the warning for you: if you still have an older Mac in use, it may be cut off from the iCloud absurdly by an iOS update – without asking or informing you first. If you keep the iDevices on iOS 12 there should be no problems. With iOS 13 you need at least one Mac with macOS 10.14 Mojave to use the iCloud from your Mac for Pages, Numbers and Keynote.
macOS Time Machine Backup becomes corrupt
Time Machine is a great idea: You integrate a backup solution into the operating system so that people can use it at all. External disk on it, switch flipped, done. As praiseworthy as this concept is (and has already saved many), as little Time Machine has been further developed: there is no cloud backup and a standard bug runs through all macOS versions:
Arq is better than Time Machine.
From time to time, a Time Machine backup becomes simply corrupt. I.e. the data is no longer readable, everything is lost. This has been known for years, but will not be fixed. At this point we recommend to spend $50 for the excellent backup program Arq and to make your (cloud) backups with it. For such a professional program and the data security it offers, the $50 are incredibly cheap.
No 32bit software like Aperture anymore on macOS Catalina
With macOS Catalina Apple has changed the Mac operating system to run only 64 bit applications. This is the end for older tools, especially bad for users of beautiful applications like Aperture.
macOS Catalina can run 32 bit software.
But there is a solution: a small program can still install older versions on Catalina. For example, Aperture can also be used under Catalina. And if that works, other programs might be made compatible with macOS Catalina as well. We will keep you up to date.
32bit Software still being sold in App Store for macOS 10.15
As we wrote in the tip above, macOS Catalina is not capable of running 32bit software by default. This doesn’t prevent Apple from selling 32bit software in the Mac App Store. This software still runs on older versions, and you may have bought a program that you just want to download.
But be careful when you buy a new program: Apple doesn’t warn you when you buy it that it won’t run on Catalina – although the App Store knows that your Mac runs on Catalina. It’s often the case that the new 64bit version isn’t offered in the App Store, but only directly on the developer’s side – many software programmers say goodbye to the store because Apple is too restrictive and too slow in their eyes.
So if you accidentally purchased a 32bit software for Catalina, you will be confronted with the error message shown. In this case you should make use of your right of return.
Installation of macOS Catalina on old Macs is limited
As commendable as Apple’s maintenance of iDevices running under iOS 12 and 13 is, Apple’s permission to install a new operating system on an old Mac is limited. However, there are some limitations here as well: nine years have passed since you got the last security update. So there is no question of a lack of support.
macOS Catalina on old Mac? Go.
Nevertheless you might want to continue using the old Mac, after all it still works mostly without problems and the earthly resources are limited. You can do this by simply patching the operating system. All you need is a small program that allows you to run macOS Catalina on Macs that can go as far back as 2008.
AirDrop from Catalina to High Sierra no longer possible
If you have an older Mac, AirDrop may not work anymore. Apple requires Mac hardware from at least 2012 for this function. Older computers will simply not be recognized in the AirDrop window. Even iPhones, no matter if they are running iOS 13 or 12, ignore such old computers, even if it worked in the past.
Many people might only notice this when they have updated to Catalina and suddenly older Macs are no longer displayed. Under macOS 10.14 Mojave, working with older Macs and 10.13 in AirDrop still works most of the time.